Fairford History Society

Monthly Archives: July 2011

June 16th 2011: the Seventh FHS AGM

Chairman’s Report.
FHS has had a successful year, our membership has grown to 128 members. There have been talks on the Swing Riots, Gimson and the Barnsleys followed by a very enjoyable visit to Rodmarton Manor then the Thames and Severn Canal and a very informative talk about the Ernest Cook Trust. Our shops daytime meeting in February proved to be very successful. Next year we start off with Tim Porter on the Wars of the Roses, the Hicks Beach family in November, then later tombstones and Steve Blake on the Cotswold Way. At the AGM next year we hope to have Dave Kaspar on cider with samples. The daytime meeting in February will be on pubs, inns and hotels. If members have any ideas for meetings they would be welcome.John Read who was in at the start of FHS is no longer able to attend Committee meetings so he is resigning from the Committee. We have a space if anyone would like to offer. John will continue to have input in an advisory capacity. We thank him for his seminal role in establishing the society. Thanks to all the Committee, Gill Compton, Ian Westlake, the Vice Chair, Margaret Bishop, Don Cobbett, Maurice Jones, Rob Winney, Chris and Alison Hobson. Thanks to Edwin Cuss and Syd Flatman who have helped and supported us, Piers Hobson for technical support and Nick Hobson for helping with the chairs etc. at meetings, also to June Lewis-Jones for her knowledge, information and support. The Chair closed his report with a quote from Dr Johnson ‘Do not remit the practice of writing down occurrences as they arise, of whatever kind, and be very punctual in annexing the dates. Chronology you know is the eye of history’.

The Committee were then re-elected. The business meeting was followed by a ‘Show and Tell’ session. It turned out to be very successful and there wasnÂ’t time for all the offerings. Fourteen people contributed and topics included a former Lord Mayor of London, a mounted priest in Queensland, Rudolf Hess, a cricket ball, a plate, scientific instruments, an airship, books, pictures and a delightful letter etc. Fascinating and something well worth repeating.

Show and Tell!

Show and Tell!

May 19th 2011: Ernest Cook and Fairford Park

At the May meeting Nicholas Ford, Agent and Director (Chief Executive) of the Ernest Cook Trust since 2002 talked to FHS members about how Ernest Cook came to found the Ernest Cook Trust as an educational charity and the work of the Trust today managing their estates and its work as a grant giver.

Ernest Cook was the grandson of Thomas Cook from Derbyshire famous for setting up the Thomas Cook Travel Agency. Both Ernest and his brother Frank both went to work in the Travel Agency, Frank as an agent in remoter parts of the world and Ernest in the banking side of the business. Ernest helped to initiate the use of travellers’ cheques for foreign travel. In 1928 he and his brother sold the company to Wagon-Lits of Belgium for £3.500,000.

With his half of the money Ernest could indulge his interests, he loved fast cars, bought paintings which he donated to the National Art Directors Fund, and a lot of land. By 1939? he had bought 17 estates. He cared passionately about the country and Estate system, but was also aware of hardship in the countryside and founded a fund to help the provision of District Nurses in rural areas.

To avoid death duties, Ernest Cook set up the educational charity, the Ernest Cook Trust.

See the excellent website www.ernestcooktrust.org.uk for more information.

See also the Fairford Park Topic.